We need your prayers. Each one of us who love and follow Jesus, are in a battle. Daily we must put on the Armor of God if we are to have even a hope of winning the daily battles. For we struggle not against flesh and blood. It may feel like it is the flesh and blood that we are fighting against and being hit with over and over, but that is just a result of the spiritual battle being waged.
Living in another country, away from family and all that is familiar; we have felt the need to spend more time reading and studying. In doing so, Todd and I have each grown a lot in our spiritual lives. I am amazed at how many new insights I have found in the same scriptures I have read over and over. Having the time to read, has helped me to better understand some of the spiritual battles that we have faced over the years and how and why I have lost many of them because I tried to go to battle unprotected.
I am a music lover, especially southern gospel music, Todd likes other Christian music but likes to keep me happy so we listen to Gaithers Homecoming CDs and the like in the car. The Martins sing a song, It Came to Pass and it really has spoken to me recently. Some of the words include… Sickness must be present for healing to take place….. It didn’t come to stay, it came to pass……. These words roll around in my brain throughout the day and have prompted a lot of reflection.
As we spend time preparing for battle in prayer, and studying, I am more and more realizing the significance of my response and reactions to the daily battles. Somewhere along my life, I was deceived into thinking that God owed me an easy life because I was a “Christian” and had been a preachers kid, with all of the different perspectives that gives, and that I had “sacrificially dedicated my life to be a missionary”. I was deceived into thinking that by being or doing those things, I was guaranteed an easier go of it. NOT. In some ways, I think that because of those things, the devil is fighting harder against me to keep me from doing and being who God wants me to be. I believe with my whole heart that God has a special purpose for us here. I do not fully understand it yet, but I am convinced that as I keep my eyes on Him and faithfully do the tasks set before me, I will fulfill His purpose.
Life is about living for Jesus – through the pain and suffering. It is about seeing His hand in all that happens, praising him for the good, and praising him for the ability to stand in what feels like the bad. I think that some of these thoughts have come to me as I contemplate what my brother Curt is going through having been diagnosed with Lymphoma and watching him bravely walk this path. At the same time, his grand sons were born with kidney problems. Each of them only having one kidney and the youngest boy’s one kidney is not functioning, so he is on Dialysis nightly. We pray for all of them continually.
My prayers have changed a bit over the years, I do not only ask God to heal my brother and my sweet little nephews. I pray that God would give them increased faith to walk the path they are on, eyes to see His hand guiding them and strength for each new day. I also ask for healing, but I am learning that sickness must be present for healing to take place…… I would not wish sickness or disease on anyone at all. However, I am beginning to understand that it is in times of sickness, trouble, trials, that we often come to a deeper understanding of God’s love for us. It is then that we can more clearly see His hand working through the difficulties, sickness, and trials.
As missionaries, sometimes we are looked at by some as if we were extraordinary people. We are not. We are people just like you, we struggle with all the same things you struggle with. Our families have the same struggles your families have. And I believe that when people look up to us, it is then that the devil tries even harder to bring us down, and make us stumble. We need your prayers, we need prayer warriors! This battle is not against flesh and blood. The devil uses everything he can to get our eyes off of the goal. To divert our attention from the calling we have to serve our God here in the Philippines. He is attacking our children, and the rest of our families. He will stop at nothing – but the power of prayer!
Will you join our prayer team? Will you commit to lifting us, our children, our precious new grandchild, and the rest of our families in your prayers? Pray for spiritual protection and sensitivity to recognize the flack we encounter. We are over the target, and the devil is shooting flack at us. Some days there is so much flack that it is hard to see the target. We need spiritual sensitivity to keep our eyes focused on Jesus through those times. And then we need the strength and faith to step out into that flack and obey!
When you are awakened at night and feel the urge to pray, (we are in a time zone 15 hours ahead of Mountain time in the US) please pray. When you are with your church, or your cell group or a group of friends, please join hands and lift us in prayer. And not only us, but all of our missionaries, church leaders, and pastors across the globe. We all need your prayers. It is a spiritual battle and prayer is the key to victory!
I am so glad to know that He knows my name. When I am facing the flack, my reaction is to sing. I urge you to try it. Listen to worship music as you go about your daily tasks and don’t only listen – sing!